Sun! No, rain & hail! Wait, sun again! Yes, April in Seattle is...an adventure. But if you can catch a weather break, get cracking on those small outdoor tasks/checks that will keep your home from hiding bigger issues down the line.
There's a huge range of work to be done on your yard, from DIY trimming on your tiny patch of grass to full landscaping redesign/architecture with native plantings and water features. So how do you know whom to call?
In the yard & landscaping world, there are fancy-feeling design & architecture outfits, solopreneurs, and inexpensive yard crews. Communication best practices vary widely, but I always suggest calling first, then following up with email or text.
Yard crews will usually have a standard lawn care rate dependent upon yard size and frequency, and whether you're adding edging, weeding, and other services to mowing. Design services are sometimes hourly if you're not doing an install, but can be rolled up into a larger project if there are multiple phases. Always get an estimate and ask how much prices are likely to change--but know that if YOU add scope to the project or drag your feet on kicking it off, the cost may increase.
Straightforward lawn care should be 1-3 weeks booked out; landscaping and design outfits may be multiple months out.
Call first, then email, then call again!
If you've ever had a Jeffrey Tosh inspection, you know that drainage is a BIG deal for Seattle-area houses and often neglected. The average roof in our area gets tens of thousands of gallons of rain each year, and all that runoff has to go somewhere...ideally not directly next to the foundation! It's amazing, though, how many of us live with poor drainage around our homes for years without noticing or remedying it. The result? Major foundation settlement, mold/mildew, and more. It's critical to direct water 6-10 feet away from the foundation and following the laws of gravity. Either via a Jeffrey inspection or consulting with Hoffman or American Crawls, you can come up with a drainage plan to help keep downspout/runoff water where it should be. And, while you're at it, make sure your gutters and drain pipes are properly connected and your soffit in in good shape. Oh--and don't let ANYONE talk you into just doing a sump pump and calling it done.
Email AND call/text to make an appointment for a consultation. Vendors may be 1-8 weeks out depending on the size of the project, but may be able to squeeze smaller jobs in among larger ones.
Cost of these services depend entirely on what you're correcting, the size of your home, and whether you're after "good enough" or "best practices." You can assume $3000+ for most crawl space projects, and upwards of $10,000 for significant drainage work. Luckily, if you do it right, you only have to do it once in a long period of ownership.